How to: Get rid of the nofollow attribute on your WordPress blog

Wordpress, like many other blog engines, uses the rel="nofollow" attribute in comments for the so-called fight against spam. If this was a good idea, it is totally ineffective, and in addition, a link with this attribute will not receive any credit by Google when they rank websites. It is therefore clearly in the interest of bloggers to get rid of rel="nofollow" attribute.


The little history of nofollow

The rel=”nofollow” attribute was introduced back in 2005 by Google. The idea behind this concept was that if a link would not affect Google, spammers stop their harmful activities. If the idea was excellent , any blogger still receive dozens of spam comments daily.

If you own a WordPress blog, there’s a strong chance that the links in the comments are nofollow. Does this prevents spammers to try to post their links for Rolex and Viagra? Certainly not.

Moreover, when one of your readers leaves a comment on your blog, if he has a website, he’ll probably fill the url field and make a link to his own blog. But as the link does have a rel=”nofollow” attribute, it will not receive any credit by Google when they rank websites.

Of course, you leave a comment on a blog when you have something interesting to say, not just because you want to have more backlinks and a higher pagerank.
However, I think that when a reader writes an appropriate comment on my blog, he really deserves that his link should be counted as a backlink, and provide him – on the long term – a higher pagerank.

So, CatsWhoCode.com is a 100% dofollow blog. Any url on this website is counted by Google as a backlink. No nofollow either on my personal weblog.

How to: Get rid of the nofollow attribute on your WordPress blog

Time to follow

You’re convinced of the interest of turning off the rel=”nofollow” attribute and you own a blog running WordPress? Here’s two ways to get rid of this non SEO-Friendly attribute:

Editing WordPress core:

Modifiying WordPress core is generally not recommended. However, this solution is kinda easy to implement if you don’t want to install another plugin. The biggest drawback of this technique is that after you upgraded WordPress, you must restart the operation.

To get rid of the attribute rel=”nofollow” directly in the code of WordPress, proceed as follows:
Edit the file-how template.php, it resides in the wp-includes directory.
Go to line 48. You should see this:

$return = "<a href='$url' rel='external nofollow'>$author</a>";

Then, you just have to delete the nofollow:

$return = "<a href='$url' rel='external'>$author</a>";

Just save the file, and you’re done.

Using a dedicated plugin:

There are several plugins WordPress that will work for you. The advantage of a plugin is that you’ll not need to modify WordPress core, and after you upgrade your WordPress version, you’ll just have to reactivate the plugin to re-delete the nofollow.

If a plugin is what you chose (good choice!), DoFollow 4.0 and Nofollow Free are both very good in my opinion. They’re super easy to install: Just download the file on the author’s site, upload it to your wp-content/plugins directory, activate it, and bye bye nofollow.

After you deleted the rel=”nofollow” from your blog, don’t hesitate to claim it! On my personal blog, I received more interesting comments after saying goodbye to this useless attribute.

Happy dofollow blogging 😉